Home automation systems, while often thought of as a “cool luxury feature” to add to your home is really a feature that can be a priceless gift, giving us back precious time (when correctly commissioned).
Unfortunately, home automation and lighting control systems can also be a relentless nightmare when bad decisions are made.
What kind of bad decisions? From picking the wrong system for your project, unstable power systems, computer network problems, poor installation techniques… the list goes on. But no matter what may appear to be the failed decision, the failure is almost always due to clients’ choice of electronic systems contractor , a decision we find has usually been made based on price or a good feeling they had about the sales person.
This is not meant to dissuade you from considering home automation but rather to arm you with the right information so you don’t end up like so many clients; making poor decisions based on price &/or ignorance about the systems being installed, the capabilities/solvency of the integrator and/or limitations of the products.
The good news, if you follow our suggestions closely; which means doing your homework and making smart decisions; this will greatly reduce the likelihood of a terrible smart home automation experience.
So after determining your needs, the most important question to answer are:
1) Who is is going to design & specify the system?
2) If it’ll be a company other than the specifier, who’s going to install and program the system?
3) Will you have a 3rd party company manage the technology project on your behalf to ensure deliverables are being met?
4) Do you feel confident the integrator will be around to service you after the system is installed?
The reason these are such important decisions; arguably more so than the brand of systems you’re going to use; is because most lighting control and smart home automation systems are “dumb boxes”. They get connected together as specified and programmed to work based on certain criteria.
It does’t matter how great your black boxes are if the specifier or integrator cannot deliver the completed project.
Be on the lookout for upcoming risk management posts which will offer the guidance you’ll need to answer the aforementioned questions.